What platform should I learn?
Ok, my head aches... I have bought 3 books already....
I am planning to make a dynamic web page.
This web page will be based upon an Access database.
I wish to present fairly simple graphics (a card table with cards) and simple animations, and text (analysis) based on the values in the database.
I wish to store some data about each user's session to summarize stats and represent to them, and some long-term data about all users.
My skill set is as follows:
I know what a punch card looks like!
I had some early dark ages training in fortran and basic.
I wrote some psychology experiments in basic and Pascal.
I once skimmed 7 editions of "inside Mac" and learned to hate people who wrote such things.
I can write most basic html. I made some web pages that looked nice on Mosiac!
I learned some visual basic a few years back and could do the whole project in visual basic via my very clever methods of doing without learning, but my memory is fuzzy and I never did get too happy with it all.
And so far, I started by considering Dreamweaver with ColdFusion (bought a book) and downloaded the trial. It seems pretty easy and straightforward except animation and graphics seem a bit troublesome. I know 1% of what I need to know.
I decided maybe that Java was the way to go. I've seen some very nifty stuff on the web programmed in Java. So I decided to bite the bullet and learn Java. But on my way up on the elevator my neighbour saw the books and started chatting on how she was learnng .net and that everyone wanted that now. It turned out the new Sun free trial software download was bugged tonight, so I started reading about .net.
It turns out .net is compatible with *gasp* Visual Basic and can do some nifty stuff, even though it is a product of the Evil Masters. So I downloaded the free trial of that and haven't yet bought a book because it is midnight.
So what the heck should I learn???
To make this web page in a reasonable fashion and not ducktape it all together.
To have some reasonable skills that might stand me in good sted 8 years from now.
To not be incredibly frustrated along the way.
To not have to learn 100 skills when 4 would be enough.
So what platform should I learn (I am on a standard Window's XP machine) and what program should I use to run it?
For what you want to do today probably Studio.NET and C# would be the way to go. Nothing platform or language specific you learn today will do you much good eight years from now. Long term good happens with fundamentals like patterns, architecture and standards like UML, XML and such.
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